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  #71  
Old 10-05-2021, 05:18 PM
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If you don't need to drive your only car it's nice to have the option.
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  #72  
Old 10-05-2021, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick325xit 5spd View Post
I do my own alignments. I have both hub stands and smart strings. (Sadly, the hub stands aren't quite rated for the X5.) Ballparking takes almost no time, is useful for an initial gut check of the suspension, and makes the final alignment simpler.

The point of gut checking in *this* case is for the OP to try to diagnose his suspension issues. Aligning a car with broken suspension parts is pointless. If it were me, I'd replace basically everything in the rear based on what he's saying. But while he's trying to chase down the problem, ball parking buys him time.
I wasn't suggesting to align a broken suspension or doing it twice. Sorry if that was not clear.

The shop I go to has the latest equipment. I pay something like $200 for an alignment and can bring it back to be aligned as many times as necessary for a year. I pay the same price regardless of how long it takes or how far it is out of alignment. Even if they didn't have the program, the few times I need to do an alignment it is not a value to buy the equipment. My guess is you have $1000 to $1500 invested in your hub stands, the ball bearings and smart string.

Early on OP had done troubleshooting and not found the cause. that's why I suggested to take it to a shop where SOP is to check the suspension before starting the alignment. If something is broken they don't an alignment but do find the problem. If OP had found the problem and done the repair, going to the alignment shop would obviously be after the repair.

I agree that if the suspension hasn't been rebuilt in say 100,000 miles do it all at once rather than replace each part as it fails. Good point.
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  #73  
Old 10-05-2021, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
If you don't need to drive your only car it's nice to have the option.
Someone with 1 car doesn't need to drive it?
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  #74  
Old 10-05-2021, 08:16 PM
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Spirited Drive -- Now rear Camber Negative

My point is: if I do suspension work on my car there is basically a 100% chance I'll need to drive it ca. 200 mi. before I can get into alignment shop so I will definitely do a string alignment before I take it in.

If you have more than one car makes it easier to just leave the car sit until you can take in for alignment.

I can't know before I'm done when I'll be done so I can't set appointment until I am done.

I could likely borrow a car but ten minutes with a string and I don't need to. Toe alignment is a simple task.
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Last edited by andrewwynn; 10-05-2021 at 08:21 PM.
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  #75  
Old 10-12-2021, 02:04 PM
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Ride Height

Someone made a comment about ride height measuring from fender flare to bottom of rim. I stumbled upon some information regarding rear suspension configuration, tire rim size, and the measurement.

My current configuration is on springs and would correspond to 723 mm. This is about 28.5" in length.
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  #76  
Old 10-16-2021, 09:37 PM
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I had a very similar experience wherein after a spirited trip up some mountain roads I developed some rear suspension noise. Camber was also negative past spec.

We found the noise to be a bad ball joint on one of the upper links. Pulling the arm, I noticed the rubber bushing to be largely intact but deflected inward significantly. I decided to replace this link on both sides.

After replacing arm my alignment place was able to get camber back to spec.

I subsequently did this to another E53 with out of spec rear negative camber and it worked for that one too.
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Old 10-16-2021, 10:06 PM
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It was the outer ball joint on the "wishbone" (rear upper), correct?

I've worked on about 4 similar it's almost always that joint.
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  #78  
Old 10-17-2021, 02:28 AM
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Yup, that one!

I wouldnt have noticed the bushing if the ball joint hadnt developed play, hard to see when the wishbone is installed.

On the other E53 we did the wishbone, the ball joint was still good and we did it to try to get camber into spec and it happened to work for that one too.
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  #79  
Old 10-17-2021, 09:35 AM
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That particular joint is so close to the center of the hub it takes very little wear to cause big problems.

1mm of motion translates to over 1 of toe/camber and we are aiming for values in the 1/20th of a degree.

The ball joint at the bottom will wear out and cause similar headaches but as that one wears the problems are more subtle as the preload from the spring holds it tight one way mostly.
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Old 10-18-2021, 01:32 AM
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Update with the rear subframe bushes

Well I took out the rear subframe bushes. All four of them were bad! The rear two were so bad it sagged on the rear stopper. From what it looks like, this should never happen as it is a clear sign the rear bushes are no longer supporting the inner metal dowel to the rubber support.

Anyway, the tool makes it a cinch! There are no directions, but there is a very specific way to align the cup as well as the backing washer for extraction and insertion respectively. To access the rear bushes, removing the exhaust at the cups where the center muffler is allows the rubber mounts to easily move out of the way.
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